MarAd warns of hightened piracy threat as monsoon season ends

The following is the text of a press release from the U.S. Maritime Administration:
(WASHINGTON) — The U. S. Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration has issued a warning to ship operators of anticipated increase in piracy attacks in the Gulf of Aden region from October through early December due to the end of monsoon season. More favorable weather conditions allow for small boat activity in the Gulf of Aden, Red Sea, Indian Ocean and waters off the Horn of Africa region. Recent attacks have occurred off the Kenyan and Tanzanian coasts, the Southern Red Sea, Seychelles, and Maldives.
“The change in season means every precaution must be taken in order to defend against pirate attacks,†said David Matsuda, Maritime Administrator. “Our agency remains committed to helping U.S. crewmembers be vigilant and well-prepared for pirate attacks.â€
In response to pirate attacks worldwide, the Maritime Administration is working with federal agency partners to reduce the vulnerability of U.S. ships and crews by:

-issuing advisories directly to U.S. ship operators based on latest intelligence

-working with industry to improve implementation of best practices to deter piracy
-distributing industry produced anti-piracy training videos for crews
-conducting voluntary security vulnerability assessments with Naval Criminal Investigative Service on U.S. ships
The Maritime Administration promotes the development and maintenance of an adequate, well-balanced, United States merchant marine, sufficient to carry the Nation’s domestic waterborne commerce and a substantial portion of its waterborne foreign commerce, and capable of service as a naval and military auxiliary in time of war or national emergency.
By Professional Mariner Staff